I now know what the term "labor of love" truly means after making this purple sweet potato ravioli in brown butter garlic sauce. You guys, my kitchen looked like a literal flour bomb hit it. I had pasta dough all over my pants (black is NOT a good choice when making pasta from scratch), and I was sweaty and red in the face. If that's not labor and that's not love (for food), then I don't know what is. I am pleased with the results though!
However, here is an important lesson for when you make purple sweet potato ravioli in brown butter sauce from scratch...
BUY A DAMN PASTA ROLLER. Yes, that's how strongly I feel about it. It's about the opportunity cost, people. Maintaining your sanity and cheerful disposition is worth the $50, because cooking should be an enjoyable experience, should it not? If you insist on rolling it by hand with a rolling pin, just don't be alarmed when you hear my little voice in your head saying, "I TOLD YOU SO!"
I did in fact roll this ravioli pasta dough by hand, and it was quite the adventure. The first half of this batch was the perfect thickness, but I didn't flour the ravioli mold well enough, so it stuck to the pan. Major bummer. The second set was easy to pop out of the mold, but it was juuust a tad too thick once it cooked. Tasty, yes, but a little too dense and heavy, which can also affect the texture of the filling. Basically, just make sure your dough and molds are extremely well-floured and not at all sticky, and absolutely roll your dough as thin as possible without it falling apart (about 1/16 of an inch). You will then have perfectly molded and beautiful raviolis.
Perhaps I should have perfected my raviolis before posting this recipe, but I worked too hard to not share it with you, and I am helping you learn from my experiences! This is why failure is not at all a bad thing and essential to growth, friends. (Not that I failed, but it's not my best work. Glad we've got that covered. Onward ho!)
Now let's talk about the filling and all the flavors. Did your heart palpitate just a little when you read the title "purple sweet potato ravioli in brown butter garlic sauce"? It's ridiculous. An image of beauty and exquisite taste comes to mind when I envision it, and that, my friends, is the culinary sweet spot. (See what I did there? But you aren't surprised because this IS the world's punniest food blog, after all.)
The taste is sweet and salty and sharp. The cheeses and garlic pair well with the aromatic flavor of the basil and purple sweet potato, and wrapping it all up in a delicate pasta shell of ravioli completes it. (When did I turn into a food critic?) And don't even get me started on just how LOVELY purple sweet potatoes are! I didn't even know they existed until fate intervened at our local farmers' market. I saw the sign and was like, "I'LL TAKE TWENTY." The sweet Japanese vendor smiled brightly, like he was sharing in the rapture of my new discovery. God bless that darling old man!
Give these a try, will ya? They are unexpectedly wonderful, and sometimes we need a little of the unexpected in our lives. The recipe is below! Enjoy!
Purple Sweet Potato Ravioli In Brown Butter Garlic Sauce
For the pasta dough:
- 2 cups flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
For the purple sweet potato cheese filling:
For the brown butter garlic sauce:
- ½ cup butter
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 radishes sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel and cube the purple sweet potatoes. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper on them. Mix together with your hands and bake on 400°F for about 25 minutes, or until roasted and tender.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the pasta dough. In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, eggs, and olive oil on medium speed. Add in the water as needed so the dough is wet but not sticky. Roll out the dough so it is in a rectangle shape, about 3-4 inches wide and 5 inches long. Run the dough through a pasta roller as if you are making a lasagna sheet. You want to run it through a few times until the dough is about 1/16 of an inch thick. If you don't have a pasta roller, you can roll it by hand with a rolling pin, but be aware it is more time consuming and strenuous! (I learned the hard way.) If doing it by hand, make sure the dough is as thin as possible!
- Your pasta sheet should be long, thin and about 5-6 inches wide now. Cut your pasta sheet into four sections, each one about 12 inches long, enough to cover the ravioli mold. Place one section over a very well floured ravioli mold—if it is not floured enough, the dough will stick to the mold! Go over it with a rolling pin so the dough is formed to the mold, and the wells have a space for the filling. Cover the dough with a damp towel.
- Remove the purple sweet potatoes from the oven and mix them in a food processor with the cheeses, egg and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Return to your ravioli mold and fill each well with about 2 teaspoons of the filling. Take one of the pasta sheets and lay it over the filling. Dab some water on the edges to seal them together, and run the rolling pin over the top of the raviolis to help them completely form and cut through the mold. (Feel free to use your fingers to press down the dough between wells so the jagged ravioli edge cuts through as well.) Gently turn the mold upside down to release the ravioli and peel apart. Use a pizza cutter to separate any raviolis that are still sticking together. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook raviolis over medium-high heat until al dente.
- While the ravioli is cooking, add the butter, garlic and basil to a skillet and cook until it browns. Once the raviolis are ready, add them to the skillet, along with the radishes. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve while warm and enjoy!